Brazil Dressage Rider Leandro Aparecido Da Silva Suspended for 3 Years for Horse Abuse

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Leandro Aparecido da Silva competing at 2015 Pan American Games. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

April 21, 2021

Brazilian Olympic dressage rider Leandro Aparecido Da Silva has been suspended for three years for horse abuse that came to light when the 46-year-old rider was shown in a video on his daughter’s small pony.

The FEI–International Equestrian Federation–on Wednesday announced the final decision by the FEI Tribunal that in addition to the three-year suspension imposed a fine of 5,000 Swiss francs/US$5,445/€4,535 and costs of 2,000 Swiss francs.

Video footage of the abuse was widely shared on social media and the athlete admitted it was him riding the pony.

In September 2020, the Brazilian Equestrian Sport Tribunal (“Superior Tribunal de Justiça Desportiva do Hipismo Brasileiro”) issued a decision that they had no jurisdiction in this case as it was an out-of-competition incident.

As a result, the FEI opened separate disciplinary proceedings against Da Silva under its regulations which prohibit horse abuse.

The parties have 21 days to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Da Silva rode for Brazil at the 2008 Olympics, 2018 World Equestrian Games and the 2011, 2015 and 2019 Pan American Games.